Calls for Cranbrook lay-bys to be closed after antisocial behaviour by lorry drivers

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 26 September 2018

Lorry in Cranbrook lay-by, close to residents' homes. Picture: Pauline Werhun

Lorry in Cranbrook lay-by, close to residents' homes. Picture: Pauline Werhun

Pauline Werhun

Residents report noise, revving engines, and drivers urinating in the hedge and leaving litter

“Unpleasant behaviour” by some HGV drivers using two lay-bys in Cranbrook could lead to both of them being closed down.

The lay-bys are on opposite sides of the B3174, about 15 metres from some homes in Roman Way.

A report, to be presented to the Highways and Traffic Orders Committee, says the “unpleasant behaviour” includes some drivers urinating in the hedgerow and revving their engines, causing “considerable disturbance to adjacent households”.

The issue was raised at Cranbrook Town Council’s meeting on Monday, September 17 when local resident Pauline Werhun described the ongoing incidents.

“We really are most unhappy about the whole thing,” she told the Herald afterwards. “Some of my neighbours are really quite upset.”

She said it was inappropriate for children to see lorry drivers urinating in the hedges and hear them shouting and using “really bad language” late at night. Residents are also upset about the air pollution from lorries and buses revving their engines, and drivers leaving the lay-bys strewn with litter and food waste.

The report recommending the closure of the lay-bys has been written by Cranbrook town councillor Ray Bloxham, who also represents Broadclyst on Devon County Council. He told the meeting he had already asked Devon County Highways to take action, but they had said the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency or the police should enforce anti-social behaviour issues. But he said complaints to the DVSA have not changed anything and the police do not have the resources to tackle the anti-social behaviour.

The report also points out that the lay-bys are no longer needed as rest areas for lorry drivers, as the B3174 is no longer the main road and there are other facilities on the A30 and M5, as well as designated HGV parking sites, the nearest just over a mile away.

It concludes: “There is a need to act to address the considerable number of complaints that I have received about the disturbance caused by the use of these two lay-bys. Action is supported by EDDC environmental health officers.”

Councillors unanimously backed the report’s recommendation and it will be presented to the Highways and Traffic Committee on November 29.

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